The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Segmented Labour Markets

  • Glen G. Cain
Reference work entry


Segmented labour markets may refer to descriptive features of labour markets or to theoretical models of the processes and outcomes of labour market behaviour. This entry emphasizes the latter, but the two aspects of the term are not neatly separable. In its descriptive uses segmentation may refer to industries, geographic areas, or to such demographic characteristics of workers as gender or race.

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  1. The literature on segmented labour markets is extensive and diversified, and there are disputes about who are the leading theorists and which are the landmark articles. These characteristics make it difficult to provide a brief bibliography. In addition to the items cited in the text, several survey articles and books contain lengthy bibliographies: Taubman and Wachter (1986); Gordon, Edwards and Reich (1982); Wilkinson (1981); Cain (1976). The application of segmented labour market theories to development economics is not, however, covered in these sources, and the author is unaware of any survey or bibliographic sources for this application.Google Scholar
  2. Becker, G.S. 1964. Human capital. New York: Columbia University Press for the National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
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  4. Braverman, H. 1974. Labor and monopoly capital. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  5. Cain, G. 1976. The challenge of segmented labor market theories to orthodox theory: A survey. Journal of Economic Literature 14(4): 1215–1257.Google Scholar
  6. Cairnes, J.E. 1874. Some leading principles of political economy. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
  7. Gordon, D.M., R.C. Edwards, and M.S. Reich. 1982. Segmented work, divided workers: The historical transformation of labor in the United States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
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  11. Taubman, P., and M.L. Wachter. 1986. Segmented labor markets. In Handbook of labor economics, ed. O. Ashenfelter and R. Layard. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Werthheim, W.F. 1967. Economy, dual. In International encyclopedia of the social sciences, vol. 4, 495–500. New York: Macmillan and Free Press.Google Scholar
  13. Wilkinson, F. (ed.). 1981. The dynamics of labor market segmentation. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  14. Williamson, O.E. 1975. Markets and hierarchies: Analysis and antitrust implications. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen G. Cain
    • 1
  1. 1.